OK, so what's the story with the bike racks? Could they BE any uglier? It's all part of the new and improved city program called BIKE SHARE - which is really more like BIKE SCARE!! After 65,000 votes, 10,0000 suggestions, 400 meetings, and 700 miles of bike lanes, nyc.gov's got a new way to get around town.
I know Bloomberg's into cheap, healthy transportation alternatives, and I'm all for fitness, but this just doesn't seem to be quite the right fit. Let's look at the facts:
1. THE LOOK - Seriously? Could they BE any drearier? Personally they remind me of jail bars. There's more pointy steel in the NYC bike dock stations than in a whole season of Game of Thrones.
2. THE DESIGN - With all the architects in NYC, and Bloomberg's love affair with urban design, couldn't they have come up with something a tad more appealing? Calling Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs....maybe even Manolo Blahnik, with bike racks in the shape of high heeled bike pedaling shoes?
3. SAFETY - Helmets? Nope - not part of the deal. The City Bikeshare website suggests calling 311 for more helmet renting info. Have you ever tried calling 311? Bike docks jut out into the street, ready to pierce the innocent pedestrian, slicing and dicing us up like steel blender blades. Not to mention blocking access for emergency vehicles, seniors, and those with special needs. Bike share has disaster written all over it.
4) HOW IT WORKS SWIPE, UNLOCK & RIDE. Really? Have you ever tried swiping the Metro card in a rush? Think it's more like GRIPE, BLOCK & COLLIDE.
6,000 bikes at 330 stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. There's an annual membership of $95, 7 days for $25, and $5 for the first 24 hours for the first few weeks. There are 30 minute blocks for free, but after that, watch out. Citibank is the sponsor, so naturally there are late fees. And if the bike's stolen, you're out a thousand bucks. And that's no free ride.
5) COLOR - Again, aesthetics - come on, boys, where's your sense of the artistic? How about some fun patterns? Maybe some polka dots? Or paisley? Some hot pink or chartreuse or periwinkle, perhaps? After all, VIOLET has the word LOVE in it. And spring is in the air...and bicycles can be romantic. But not in cold steel gray. I'm just saying.